AdventureCORPS Presents
The 2005 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon Webcast

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Ian Parker and the Irish Ladies

Tracy Fawns

In 2004, Ian Parker, 54, from Irvine, California, decided to increase his previous goals in his other Badwaters from a 60-hour finish to a coveted 48-hour "buckle finish." He had plotted a line graft, in which the time was along the bottom and the miles were placed vertically. In his previous 2002 and 2003 Badwaters, the goal was simply to finish within the 60-hour time limit, so the graphs were pre-drawn with a target line, intercepting 135 miles at 60 hours.

In 2004, since his goal was increased to finish in 48 hours, the graph changed a bit. All the way up to Darwin, at mile 90, the crosses on the graft were exactly within the time limit needed to meet his 48-hour finish goal. Then the hallucinations came. He saw, "an Irish lady, dressed in a green cape, with a curiously square knapsack." His progress slowed and, with only four hours left, he had 13 miles to go. With the help and encouragement of his pacer, Judit, he was able to complete his goal with nine minutes to spare and an apparent streak started. He is back and hopes to complete Badwater this year for a four-year streak.

So far, so good.